California’s pumpkin capital, Manteca, is a flourishing city at the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. With a population of nearly 68,000, Manteca offers an outstanding quality of life, boasting pleasant year-round weather, abundant green spaces, and a strong real estate market.
Manteca, CA: California’s pumpkin capital
Nestled within California’s Central Valley, Manteca is a small yet vibrant city surrounded by the towns of Lathrop, Ripon, Escalon, and Tracy.
Manteca spans a total area of 17.8 square miles and is predominantly characterized by land. However, a small fraction is made up of bodies of water that contribute to the city’s scenic allure. The city’s proximity to neighboring towns and its strategic location between Modesto and Stockton make it a desirable and accessible home for many, and it’s widely considered a bedroom community for nearby Altamont Pass.
The city experiences a hot-summer Mediterranean climate as classified by the Köppen Climate Classification system, which means it enjoys hot and dry summers, creating the perfect environment for outdoor pursuits and leisurely adventures. Winters here are generally mild, with intermittent bouts of tule fog and chilly temperatures.
A brief history of Manteca
Manteca’s earliest inhabitants were a native tribe who initially referred to the area as the “sand plains.” It was not until the tail end of the California Gold Rush that permanent settlers came into town.
In 1863, Joshua Cowell, part of the pioneering Cowell family, arrived in Manteca. Cowell had traversed the Sierra Nevada all the way from Carson Valley before permanently buying the ranch on the corner of Yosemite and Main, now part of Central Manteca. He took up 1,000 acres and built multiple, earning him the title “Father of Manteca.”
10 years later, the Central Pacific Railroad laid tracks through Cowell Farm. Residents initially wanted to name the boxcar “Cowell Station,” but the name was already taken. The community then named itself “Monteca.” However, the railroad mistakenly printed it as “Manteca” on the tickets. Despite initial dissatisfaction, the name Manteca eventually gained widespread acceptance among residents.
Manteca was officially incorporated as a city in 1918 under the leadership of its first mayor, Joshua Cowell.
The city would become a prosperous agricultural base and become renowned for its prodigious pumpkin harvest, which led to the production of pumpkin products, and the Annual Pumpkin Festival, which is held during the first or second weekend of October.
In the 1970s, Manteca diversified its economy by welcoming different industries and gradually departing from its farming roots.
Living in Manteca, CA
Although largely considered a bedroom community, Manteca is by no means a sleepy town. From world-class wineries to neighborly farmers markets and move nights, here’s what you can expect from living in Manteca.
Delicato Family Vineyards Tasting Room is Manteca’s premier family-owned winery. With their diverse vineyard estates, commitment to sustainability, and dedication to producing quality wines, the tasting room offers guests and locals a chance to explore a range of exceptional products while celebrating California’s winemaking heritage. Delicato also offers membership to the Vino della Famíglia Wine Club, which grants members benefits like extensive discounts, winemaker recipes, newsletters, complimentary tasting sessions, and invites to exclusive Wine Club events.
The Promenade Shops is located at Orchard Valley and features 721,000 square feet of diverse shopping and dining options. Retailers and restaurants include Bass Pro Shop, GUESS, AMC Theater, Sephora, Hampton Inn & Suites, Matsu Sushi, and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.
RROOAR Coding and Robotics Academy offers an exciting summer program that integrates the art of narrative writing, animation coding, and sketching for children ages 7-14. Accompanied by a team of exceptional coaches, young participants can explore their creativity by crafting short stories, creating dynamic 2D animation videos, and bringing their tales to life through imaginative sketches.
Tiny Tots Sports provides specialized sports classes for children aged 3-6, with a focus on early motor skill development. Kids are free to choose between basketball, soccer, and t-ball, laying the foundation for future sports participation in their desired activity while learning core values like teamwork and sportsmanship.
Jr. NBA Basketball Camp and Clinic allows kids ages 7-12 to hone and develop their skills and passion for basketball through drills, fundamentals training, and practice sessions over the course of one week.
Market on Maple is Manteca’s weekly farmers market located in Maple Avenue, between Center Street and Yosemite. Every Saturday from May through October, local vendors from across the region set up stalls of the finest local produce, artisan goods, meats, dairy, eggs, and baked sweets. The lively event draws guests from across the region.
Manteca Park-a-Palooza on Woodward Park is a community event by the Manteca Recreation Department and the Chamber of Commerce. The Park-a-Palooza is typically held every August and includes live entertainment, food trucks, local vendors, and activities for children to enjoy.
Food Truck Frenzy & Movie Night allows families to bond under the stars. This bi-annual event features local food trucks and a showing of a selected children’s movie.
The Manteca Pumpkin Fair is held every year in Downtown Manteca and celebrates the agricultural product the city is known for. The fair happens just two weekends shy of Halloween. There are contests, live entertainment, food and vendor stalls, kid-friendly activities, as well as special shows and exhibits.
Senior center activities
The Senior Center hosts a weekly Friday Night Bingo, offering multiple bingo games for participants aged 18 years old and above. On special occasions, they organize a Spaghetti Bingo event, allowing visitors and players to enjoy a hearty dinner alongside the regular games. But that’s not all – the Manteca Seniors Center events calendar is packed, featuring fun activities all week such as:
- Line dancing
- Senior DJ dance party
- Tai chi
- Sewing classes
- Woodcarving classes
- Farmers market
- Jewelry making
Homes for sale in Manteca, CA
The Manteca housing market remains quite competitive with ample demand and strong housing values over time. Single-family homes predominate the housing stock, with an average of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and around 2,000-3,000 square feet of living space. Among the architectural styles you can spot in Manteca are Craftsman, Bungalow, Mid-century Modern, Ranch, Spanish, Farmhouse, and Modern.
Popular home features include:
- Ensuite balcony with beautiful views of the outdoors
- Multi-car garages that can be used as extra storage
- Full kitchen with breakfast bar
- Spacious living spaces with functional open floor plans
- Sweeping grand staircases
- Generous family and living rooms
- Ample desk spaces for working at home
- Newly upgraded flooring
- Walk-in closets
- Spacious outdoor lots with private pools, spa-like retreats, and gazebos
Call Jack Klemm for the best homes for sale in Manteca, CA
Get to know Manteca, CA with the help of Jack Klemm today! Jack is a real estate professional providing personalized services to buyers and sellers. He serves Northern California, specifically the counties of San Joaquin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Stanislaus, and Sacramento. Call Jack at 209.321.1094 or send an email.